Vancouver’s high-rises enjoying sustained growth in value

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Average price of a new high-density condo rose by 39%

Ephraim Vecina

Vancouver’s high-rise condos have experienced a steady increase in value over the past few years, mostly due to rising construction and land costs.

According to new research by Altus Group, an acre slated for a high-density residential project in Vancouver can be valued up to as much as $40 million. This has propelled the city’s per-buildable-square-foot cost for high-rise residential housing up to $325 this year, far exceeding the metric in other popular condo markets like Toronto ($225), Winnipeg ($60), and Edmonton ($50).

As a result, the average price of a new high-density condo unit in Vancouver went up by 39% annually, up to $1,345 per square foot.

In anticipation of intensified investment and purchasing demand, developers will begin the construction of around 210,000 new homes and 300 million sq. ft. of new commercial/industrial space nationwide (per Altus Group estimates) this year.

The national construction sector had $87 billion in residential projects and $53 billion in commercial/industrial developments in 2018 alone, Western Investor reported.

However, despite the seemingly strong prospects, sales lethargy and price slowdown continue to characterize Vancouver, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Overall home sales fell by 32.8% year-over-year in February, settling at a point 42.5% lower than the 10-year sales average for that month, BNN Bloomberg reported.

Vancouver’s benchmark residential price across all asset classes declined by 6.1% annually, ending up at $1,016,600. Detached homes fell by 9.7% (down to $1,443,100), and townhouse values shrunk by 3.3% (down to $789,300).

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